Billed as “first class luggage at a coach price,” the company Away is the newest entry to the world of “smart luggage.” The brand’s debut suitcase is a carry-on boasting a ton of packing space as well as USB ports to charge your devices while traveling.
I recently had the opportunity to try out the carry on in the blue version while taking a 6 day trip overseas. Overall, the suitcase was really great and performed very well. It doesn’t have all the tech features that some competitors have, but it is priced really well and it is quite a stylish piece of luggage.
Keep reading for my full thoughts on the Away carry on…
Who Makes It:
Away’s founders, who include Warby Parker and Casper alums, are up front about joining the movement of “direct-to-consumer” high quality products at fair prices. The team emphasizes that in creating their brand, they’ve cut out the middleman but still use the same high quality materials at other brands, for a significantly lower price. With research that included asking “thousands of people how they pack” and visiting factories all over the world to find the best materials, the Away team has spared no thought in crafting their carry-on.
- Four-Wheel Hard Shell Spinner
- 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”
- 7.2 lbs: made primarily of German polycarbonate
- Removable compact battery
- Two USB ports located underneath handle
- Wall adapter and luggage-charging cable included
- TSA-approved combination lock
- Zippered mesh interior compartments
- Comes in Black, Blue, Green, Sand, Hammam (Light Blue), Medina (Reddish Brown), Argania (Olive)
- Retails for $225
- Very lightweight
- Great price point / value
- Great capacity for packing
- Rolls very smoothly
- Great style/design
- Smart locking system
- If you want to check the bag, you have to remove the battery (because of TSA regulations)
- Missing some of the features the other “smart” luggage has (tradeoff is the price is lower)
- Brand new company, so limited customer reviews so far
The Away carry-on is incredibly lightweight – I think it might the lightest suitcase of the “smart luggage” brands I’ve tried out thus far. I’m a fan of the design, too, as I think the horizontal strips on the exterior are different and eye-catching. The suitcase also comes with a leather luggage tag, which is a nice touch and indicates how detail-oriented the Away team is.
I used the suitcase while on a six day vacation to London and had no issues carting the carry-on through both Newark and Heathrow airports. The wheels glided extremely smoothly on both carpeted and smooth floor surfaces. I was also able to use the carry-on as my primary suitcase for my vacation, which I was not expecting as I tend to be an overpacker. The suitcase, while compact, contains a lot of interior space (the mesh interior and zippered compartments are of a nice quality too), and I was able to pack in quite a few things!
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I tested out the charging ports at home before leaving, and found there to be no real difference from other smart luggage brands (they worked fine), I admittedly forgot that Away’s carry-on is technologically equipped because I didn’t use that feature on this trip. However, I could see it coming in handy for a longer trip, where you’re stuck in the airport for more than a few hours, or you have multiple connecting flights. Those who prioritize technological features might want to skip the Away, though – it lacks the weight sensor and location technology of other brands like Bluesmart and Raden. In fact, I would say in many ways, it’s just a stylish, traditional carry-on.
What You Need to Consider Before Buying:
At $225, Away’s carry-on is certainly affordable, and one of the lower-priced “smart luggage” options available. However, those looking for the most modern technology might want to look elsewhere, as Away’s only technological features at the moment are the USB ports for charging devices. Those seeking app-associated technology (like a location tracker or weight sensor) would do better to check out the Bluesmart or the Raden. It really comes down to the tradeoff of paying more money for more tech features. Some people will want to pay extra for those features, while others won’t.
Away’s carry-on is incredibly lightweight yet durable, and it provides the most space for a carry-on that I’ve encountered thus far. I also find it to have a unique, eye-catching look. While it lacks some other now common features of smart luggage, namely a location tracker or weight sensor, it does have USB ports for charging, which is definitely a step up from the traditional carry-on. Additionally, at $225, Away offers a really amazing value. It is definitely one of the best pieces of luggage we have reviewed.